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70 Alliotts staff evacuated as Holborn fire continues

STAFF AT Holborn-based firm Alliotts were evacuated yesterday – and continue to be shut out from their office – as a fire continues to be fought in central London

The firm, which is also based in Guildford, houses up to 70 staff in its London base.

They were evacuated at 1330 on Thursday after the discovery of what is believed to be an underground electrical fire on Kingsway, Holborn. Many organisations were cleared out for fears of smoke toxicity. Some 24 hours on, firefighters are still at the scene.

Alliotts has been working to keep any client disruption to a minimum, with staff working remotely or heading to its Guildford office.

“For situations like this we have a business continuity plan in place to keep disruption to a minimum,” chairman Ian Gibbon said in a statement on its website.

“The co-operation of our staff has been fantastic and thank you to our clients for their understanding and patience. We will endeavour to keep any disruption to an absolute minimum and we will keep you updated on this ever-changing situation.”

London Fire Brigade assistant commissioner Dany Cotton told the BBC: “This is a technically difficult and unusual incident to tackle as it is underground.”

*Update 08/04*

Alliotts regained access to its Holborn office on 7 April.

“We now have access to our London office and there appears to be minimal ongoing problems,” the firm stated on its website.

“As such we are now back up and running in London and should be able to deal with all enquiries as normal. Thank you for your understanding during this very unusual event.”

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